NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Myles Powell scored 20 points, Myles Cale added 19 and Seton Hall might have punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament by stunning No. 23 Villanova 79-75 Saturday in the regular-season finale.
The upset was the second major one this week for Seton Hall (18-12, 9-9), coming on the heels of a win over No. 16 Marquette on Wednesday.
Villanova (22-9, 13-4) will share the conference regular-season title with Marquette, if the Golden Eagles beat Georgetown later Saturday. The Wildcats, who have won or shared the last six crowns, will win it outright if the Hoyas post an upset.
Collin Gillespie had 20 points and Phil Booth came on late to add 16 for Villanova. Eric Paschall had 14, Saddiq Bey added 13 and Jermaine Samuels 10. The Wildcats didn’t get a point from their bench.
This was almost like a tournament game with the Wildcats looking to clinch the regular-season crown and Seton Hall fighting to stay in the hunt for an NCAA berth.
Villanova rallied from a 16-point deficit early in the second half to draw within 66-65 on two free throws by Gillespie with 3:57 to go.
That would be as close as they got as Nzei scored inside and Mamukelashvili hit a follow for a 70-65 lead.
The Wildcats never got closer than three points the rest of the way.
The Pirates led most of the game and it ballooned from a 39-28 halftime lead to 16 points in the opening minutes of the second half. Powell hit two free throws and Cale, who was in a bit of a slump recently, hit a 3-pointer.
Villanova didn’t wait long to start its comeback, scoring the next 13 points to draw within 44-41 on two free throws by Paschall.
It was Seton Hall’s turn after that. Cale hit a 3-pointer to ignite a 12-4 run that put the Pirates ahead 56-45 with 11:38 to go.
Over the next eight minutes, the Wildcats whittled to lead down to a point, but that was it.
Villanova: Play in the Big East Tournament and go to the NCAAs as defending champions.
Seton Hall: Try to win the Big East and earn automatic berth.
Villanova: A first-round bye in the Big East Tournament them playing in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Seton Hall: Will be the No. 3 or No. 4 seed in tournament at Madison Square Garden.